28

We see in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that Hermione seems more than disgruntled when Fleur kisses Ron on both cheeks (my emphasis):

Fleur bent down, kissed Harry twice on each cheek (he felt his face burn and wouldn’t have been surprised if steam was coming out of his ears again), then said to Ron, “And you too-you ‘elped”

“Yeah,” said Ron, looking extremely hopeful, “yeah, a bit -”

Fleur swooped down on him too and kissed him. Hermione looked simply furious, but just then, Ludo Bagman’s magically magnified voice boomed out beside them, making them all jump, and causing the crowd in the stands to go very quiet.

We also see that in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that Hermione was going to ask Ron to the Christmas dance/ball with Slughorn and that he genuinely seemed to want to go with her:

“‘Slug Club,’”repeated Ron with a sneer worthy of Malfoy. “It’s pathetic. Well, I hope you enjoy your party. Why don’t you try hooking up with McLaggen, then Slughorn can make you King and Queen Slug —”

“We’re allowed to bring guests,” said Hermione, who for some reason had turned a bright, boiling scarlet, “and I was going to ask you to come, but if you think it’s that stupid then I won’t bother!”

Harry suddenly wished the pod had flown a little farther, so that he need not have been sitting here with the pair of them. Unnoticed by either, he seized the bowl that contained the pod and began to try and open it by the noisiest and most energetic means he could think of; unfortunately, he could still hear every word of their conversation.

“You were going to ask me?” asked Ron, in a completely different voice.

“Yes,” said Hermione angrily. “But obviously if you’d rather I hooked up with McLaggen...”

There was a pause while Harry continued to pound the resilient pod with a trowel.

No, I wouldn’t,” said Ron, in a very quiet voice.


Were there other reasons for this happening other than Hermione and Ron were smitten with each other, or had J.K. Rowling gotten the love train started by then? If she hadn't, when did she decide to make them a couple?


A note on the answers: I do not want an answer coming from the books or movies! A Rowling interview is the sort of material that would work (Pottermore is also good). Anything which is not fictional and written by J.K. Rowling is considered an acceptable answer... Also know that Wikia answers are acceptable if the source by which Wikia received this information is reliable (i.e. there should be a footnote with a reliable source on the Wikia page).

29

Rowling began publicly hinting at the relationship from at least 2000.

Since the question seeks Rowling quotes, I thought I'd assemble an answer of public statements she made before she had finished writing the books. Hopefully the chronological progression of her decision-making is apparent. The quotes are almost entirely sourced from www.accio-quote.org.

As early as 1999 (before the publication of Goblet of Fire) she went as far as to seemingly rule out a Harry-Hermione relationship. She hinted at another relationship, which may have been a reference to Ron-Hermione:

JKR: Oh I like this one: "Do Harry and Hermione have a date?" No! They're, they're very platonic friends. But I won't answer for anyone else, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
(National Press Club luncheon, 20th October 1999).

This is the clearest demonstration that she was happy to tease Ron-Hermione as a concept prior to the publication of Goblet of Fire. Obviously, the tension between Ron and Hermione features quite evidently in Goblet of Fire. After that book was published, in 2000, she confirmed that there was "something going on" between them in that book.

sammyohyeah: Is it just me, or was something going on between Ron and Hermione during the last half of GOF?
[...]
jkrowling_bn: yes, something's 'going on'...
jkrowling_bn: but Ron doesn't realise it yet...
jkrowling_bn: typical boy
(Barnes & Noble online chat, 20th October 2000).

Perhaps she was misdirecting and perhaps she hadn't definitively determined that Ron and Hermione would get together at that stage. Nevertheless, she was happy to strongly imply that a relationship between them was feasible. Such a comment is certainly consistent with her having decided to make Ron and Hermione an item in a future book. It's probable that she wouldn't have been so blatant both in her public remarks and in her writing if she wasn't sure the relationship would materialise in time.

In 2003, just before the publication of Order of the Phoenix, she again distanced herself from the notion that Hermione would enter into a relationship with Harry and said that Hermione and Ron had "more tension".

JKR And he, yes, [Harry] does have certain adolescent, um, rights of passage happen to him.
Couric: Any snogging with Hermione?
JKR: Hermione and Harry! Do you think so?
Couric: No I’m kidding.
JKR: Ron and Hermione, I would say, have more tension there.
(Dateline NBC Interview, 20th June 2003).

In Half-Blood Prince the chemistry between Ron and Hermione is pretty blatant. Ron dates Lavender Brown just to try and get in a relationship and Hermione responds with a huge amount of jealousy. Rowling seemed to see Half-Blood Prince as the confirmation that Ron and Hermione would be an item in the final book. In 2005, after the book was published, she again shot down the idea that Hermione would end up with Harry.

JKR: Well I think anyone who is still shipping Harry/Hermione after this book
ES: [whispered] Delusional!
JKR: Uh - no! But they need to go back and reread, I think.
(Mugglenet Interview, 16th July 2005).

In 2006, she regarded the question as obvious.

FAQ: Does Hermione love Ron or Harry?
JKR: I can't believe that some of you haven't worked this one out yet.
(www.jkrowling.com, 2nd March 2006).

She obviously didn't rule out Hermione loving one of Ron or Harry and, since she had gone to such pains to rule out Harry-Hermione, she was evidently teasing Ron-Hermione. Later that year she again implied that they would get together, and dismissed Hermione dating Harry.

"Then one bored afternoon, I googled 'Harry Potter'. Oh... my... God. I had NO idea. The shipping wars? For people who are over 18 who may not know about this - because I certainly didn't - it's like cyber gang warfare. People who wanted Harry and Hermione to end up together...[crowd screams]...they're still out there! Get over it! And other people who wanted Hermione and Ron...[crowd screams]...And there are very weird couplings as well, but we will not go anywhere near there."
(Event with Steven King and John Irving, 1st August 2006).

Pottermore also references a quote, probably from the same event, where Rowling discusses what Hermione would see in the Mirror of Erised. Apparently, she "would see her and her friends triumphant after their mission" but also see herself "closely entwined" with somebody else (possibly Ron).

"Hermione would also see herself closely entwined...with...another...person..."
("Clues J.K. Rowling gave us about the Harry Potter books: Harry’s friends and family", Pottermore, 2nd August 2006).

By this point Rowling was being very open about Hermione having feelings for another character. The context from Half-Blood Prince made it clear that person was Ron.

From the above quotes I'd deduce that Rowling was happy to publicly confirm the basis of a relationship between Ron and Hermione in 2000. She admits that there was "something going on" between them in Goblet of Fire. A year beforehand she teased that another relationship other than Harry-Hermione was in the offing but didn't clarify who she was referring to. After Half-Blood Prince she considered it more-or-less public knowledge that Ron and Hermione would become a couple.

None of this gives us a precise date when she decided that the relationship would happen. Presumably she planned the relationship before she began talking about it in interviews. The quote in Kyle Doyle's answer certainly indicates that she probably planned the relationship from the very beginning. Nevertheless, by the time Deathly Hallows was released readers had a pretty clear understanding that Ron and Hermione would likely become a couple at some point.

  • Wow! This is amazing! I'll wait for a while to see if anyone else has answered better than this (not likely, but whatever), and I'll accept then. – Voldemort's Wrath Aug 2 at 1:10
55

It seems like it was planned from the very beginning. In a February 2014 interview with Emma Watson for the magazine Wonderland Rowling stated:

I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That's how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron.

As you can see, she claims that the relationship sprung from "the plot as [she] first imagined it", which indicates to me that it was always the plan, though the way that the books changed as she wrote them made it less natural than it might otherwise have been.

  • This is pretty good (+1) but has no definitive answer. It could be taken to mean a number of different things. – Voldemort's Wrath Aug 1 at 1:37
  • 11
    @Voldemort'sWrath how could you decide on a plot detail before your first imagining of the plot? – Will Aug 1 at 8:13
  • 4
    @Will I don't see any issue with that (in general, not in this particular instance)? You could decide that you want to write a story with a certain trope as an ending (e.g. the antagonist was actually being mind controlled) way before you have any actual idea of the plot. – orlp Aug 1 at 8:46
  • 16
    @orlp In principle, yes, but it seems rather unlikely that Rowling's original thought was "I'll write a story in which two of the main characters eventually hook up" and only later added "Oh, yeah, and it'll be about wizard school." – David Richerby Aug 1 at 9:23
  • 3
    @DavidRicherby Actually, sometimes the author is motivated by something other than the story they want to tell. I would not be surprised if this kind of (seemingly) disconnected thinking were altogether common. After all, it's only disconnected from point of view of the plot itself, not necessarily from point of view of the author. – jpaugh Aug 2 at 18:32
1

Rowling said that Hermione is based on herself when she was younger: Rowling about Hermione Granger.

Ron Weasley is inspired by her friend Sean Harris.

In an interview Rowling said that "something's 'going on' (between Ron and Hermione) but Ron doesn't realize it yet..."

So it seems that Rowling had a crush on Sean Harris, and he either didn't realize it, or wasn't interested, and Hermione getting together with Ron fulfills the wish that Rowling had when she wanted to get together with Sean Harris.


Rowling claims that Hermione liked Ron from the start, that means from the first day the met. See 29 signs that Hermione liked Ron from the start at Pottermore.

You must decide for yourself whether you take that as evidence that she really decided to make them a couple from the start, or whether she wants to pretend that she did, with flimsy evidence.

I personally think most of the points are not that convincing.

A few examples from the list:

  • 1.1 Hermione noticed the dirt on Ron’s nose right at the start

    Harry also noticed, does that mean Harry is also in love with Ron?

  • 1.2 She tries to stop Ron and Harry from meeting Malfoy for the Midnight duel.

    Does that mean she is also in love with Harry?

  • 1.3 Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa. Hermione’s help is met with Ron’s nasty remark about her being a total nightmare. Her tears are understandable...

    Her tears are understandable because what he says is true: “It’s no wonder no one can stand her”. And she is not intelligent enough to realize how she contributes to that.

  • 1.4 Ron and Hermione playing chess together in the common room, even though she always loses?

    Ron and Harry also play chess together, even though Harry always loses. Does that mean Harry is also in love with Ron?

  • 1.6 When Ron is hit by the white queen in the life-sized chess game, Hermione screams. She’s not known for screaming.

    She also screamed when the troll found her. As Ron was struck by a stone arm across the head, he might be dead, so a scream is not surprising.

  • 2.3 The bickering! They niggle and nag and moan at each other all the time. Just like an old married couple.

    Interestingly, the Weasley parents are not described as nagging all the time, so at some level she seems to realize that a married couple may nag all the time, it is not the happily married couples.

  • 2.4 Actually if you consider how irritated Hermione gets with Ron and vice versa, this is downright suspicious.

    Yes, the base for a lifelong irritation.

  • 3.3 Bicker, bicker, bicker.

    More of the same.

  • 4.6 And Hermione can’t hold Ron’s gaze when she speaks of how Viktor Krum invited her over for the summer holidays.

    I couldn't find a reference for this in the book.

  • 5.3 They’re fighting again...

    More evidence that they would not be happy together.

  • 6.1 This is it folks, the secret is about to be let out of the proverbial bag...

    While this states that in the sixth book Rowling had made up her mind, it is not a sign but an announcement, and like some other points seems more like padding the number of supposed hints.

In short, while Rowling claims that she intended Hermione and Ron to be together from early on, and there is plausible motivation why she would want to do it, this isn't reflected in the actual books.

  • A lot of stuff from early-on doesn't exactly imply at all that Hermione and Ron had a "thing" and neither does who J.K. Rowling based her characters off of. – Voldemort's Wrath Aug 4 at 1:32
  • The reference for 4.6 is in Chapter 27: Hermione blushed scarlet as she said this and determinedly avoided Ron’s eyes. – Alex Aug 4 at 1:32
  • I said that I didn't want answers from the books or movies; interviews, Pottermore, etc. only! -1 – Voldemort's Wrath Aug 28 at 13:53

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